Conduct Studies on The Impact of Climate Change on Aquatic Ecosystems and Biodiversity and propose Mitigation Measures

African Union (AU)

Nairobi, Kenya ūüáįūüá™


The Africa Blue Economy Strategy (ABES) is endorsed at the highest political level of the continent. The Strategy incorporates key critical thematic areas for promoting blue economy development in the continent the themes include: fisheries, aquaculture and ecosystem conservation; shipping, maritime safety and trade; climate change, environmental sustainability and ecotourism; sustainable energy and extractive mineral resources; governance, institutions and job creation. 
The objective of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy is to guide the development of an inclusive and sustainable blue economy that becomes a significant contributor to continental transformation and growth, through advancing knowledge on marine and aquatic biotechnology, environmental sustainability, marine ecosystem utilization, management and conservation and carbon sequestration, the growth of an Africa-wide shipping industry, the development of sea, river and lake transport, the management of fishing activities on these aquatic spaces, and the exploitation and beneficiation of deep sea mineral and other marine resources. 
The Africa Blue Economy Strategy is consolidated based on the following five thematic technical areas: 

  1. Fisheries, aquaculture, conservation and sustainable aquatic ecosystems; 
  2. Shipping/transportation, trade, ports, maritime security, safety and enforcement; 
  3. Coastal and maritime tourism, climate change, resilience, marine ecosystem, environment, infrastructure; 
  4. Sustainable energy and mineral resources and innovative industries; and, 
  5. Policies, institutional and governance, employment, job creation and poverty eradication, innovative financing. 

The continent is also endowed with networks of rivers and lakes. The lakes, rivers inhabit significant number of biodiversity and the ecosystems that provide sources of livelihoods, food security and wealth. These African aquatic ecosystems inhabit living and non-living resources; however, the unsustainable exploitation of these resources is continuously threatening the biodiversity, resources and environmental sustainability. Several factors are threatening aquatic biodiversity in Africa aquatic ecosystems. These include overexploitation of living species, pollutions from several sources (land-based municipal and agricultural activities), uncontrolled introduction of exotic species in aquaculture systems, effluents from mining activities. Consequently, important aquatic resources are becoming increasingly susceptible to both natural and artificial environmental changes. Thus, conservation strategies to protect and conserve aquatic life are necessary to maintain the balance of nature and support the availability of resources for future generations. 
Therefore, AU-IBAR, with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), is implementing a 3-year project on ‚ÄúConserving Aquatic Biodiversity in African Blue Economy‚Äô whose overall objective is to enhance the policy environment, regulatory frameworks and institutional capacities of AU member states and regional economic communities to sustainably utilize, manage and conserve aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems. The specific objectives of the project are as follows: 

  1. Ratify and/or align relevant international/regional instruments related to blue economy themes (with specific reference to protecting and conserving biodiversity); 
  2. Optimizing conservation, management and sustainable use of biodiversity while minimizing conflicts among blue economy sub-themes; 
  3. Strengthening measures for mitigating the negative impacts of coastal and marine tourism, oil, gas, deep sea mining and climate change on aquatic biodiversity and environment; and, 
  4. Strengthening gender inclusivity in aquatic biodiversity conservation and environmental management. 


Climate change and climate variability are continuously impacting Africa‚Äôs aquatic systems and food production overall. AU Member States need to be supported in order to initiate activities for building resilience and reducing the vulnerability of the communities, including women and youth, to climate change and variability. The support will ensure sustainable food systems and livelihoods security. For instance, ecosystem services must be integrated into the National Action Plan for Adaptation (NAPA), Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) within the Paris Agreement Climate Change Actions. The AU Member States should be encouraged to work in collaboration with regional and international partners and specialized institutions (e.g. Regional Sea Conventions) for synergies and complementarity. Healthy ecosystems are critically important for living aquatic resources to survive. In that regard, appropriate and environmental deep-sea mining, oil and gas and energy production should be developed following a rigorous scheme in place (avoid, reduce, compensate). Furthermore, the capacity of countries should be enhanced to adhere to national, regional and international pollution instruments, standards and best practices, especially regarding chemical products and plastics that threaten biodiversity. The project would develop strategies for mitigating climate change impacts that would include: restoration of degraded ecosystems, including mangroves, seagrass, protection of coral reefs etc. Marine and coastal ecosystems, which include natural assets such as marine living resources and a range of important habitats or features, such as mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds, coastal tidal marshes, seamounts, thermal vents and coldwater corals, are crucial for human well-being and sustainable development. Marine and coastal ecosystems are increasingly threatened, degraded and destroyed by marine- and land-based human activities contributing to pollution of oceans and seas. Major adverse impacts to ecosystems stem from climate change, unsustainable extraction of marine resources, physical alteration and destruction of marine and coastal habitats and landscapes and marine pollution. Tourism stimulates infrastructure development accelerating economic growth by increasing the number of available jobs in a tourism sector, both directly and indirectly. The sector needs to be climate resilient and environmentally friendly. 
Mitigating the impact of climate change on aquatic biodiversity, the project would conduct a study to document the negative impacts of climate change on aquatic biodiversity and environment and recommend mitigation strategies. The project would render support to complement conservation climate change impact mitigation efforts of identified ongoing initiatives on ecosystems restoration (mangroves, sea grass among others on mitigation of climate change impact (increasing carbon sink); including projects on protection of coral reefs. The support would mainly be towards ecosystems and nature-based solutions: including and not limited to purchase of drought resilient seedlings, tree planting, smart agriculture including promoting short time germinating seeds to enhance agricultural productivity and production, fencing protected sites, reducing soil erosionfor better land use and management to combating climate change through soil carbon sequestration; payment for ecosystems services moderating and micro-regulation of climate change mainly involving women and youth entrepreneurship; and strengthening regulatory framework for conserving coral reefs; 


The overall objective of this consultancy is to conduct studies on the impacts of climate change on aquatic biodiversity and environment and develop climate change mitigation strategies. 


  1. To liaise with the relevant persons at AU-IBAR for adequate briefing and clarification of tasks;  
  2. Prepare inceprtion report within 5 days of signature to conttract outlining methofology, approch and propose loations for for field visist
  3. Identify relevant stakeholders in conservation of aquatic biodiversity and environment at national, regional and continental levels. 
  4. To consult Regional Economy Communities (RECs), specialized regional institutions, other stakeholders relevant to aquatic biodiversity conservation and environmental management; 
  5. Conduct assessment of impact of climate change on aquatic diversity and ecosystems in marine and freshwater environment
  6. Conduct review of any existing reports relating to climate change impact on African aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems; 
  7. Conduct studies on ongoing initiatives on climate-smart aquatic production systems;  
  8. Document nature ecosystem-based solutions for mitigating climate change in African aquatic ecosystems; 
  9. Develop continental strategy for mitigating climate change in aquatic ecosystems (marine and freshwater); 
  10. Identify ongoing initiatives, projects on mitigating climate change in aquatic ecosystems and develop mechanisms for  integrating or enhancing nature ecosystem-based solutions, particularly highlighting the role of women and youth; and, 
  11. Develop comprehensive report at the end of the assignment. 


The successful candidate should have an advanced degree in disciplines related to conservation of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems, studies in climate change, environmental protection, environmental sciences, aquatic conservation sciences, fisheries management and aquaculture development or any related discipline in international development. A PhD degree will be an added advantage. 


General Experience

  1. Familiarization with national institutions with mandates in aquatic biodiversity,  environmental management and climate change;  
  2. Familiarization with functions of regional economic communities  and  specialized regional institutions with mandates in fisheries, aquaculture, aquatic biodiversity and environmental protection; 
  3. Knowledge of AU and global instruments related to aquatic biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation and adaptation; and, 
  4. Knowledge of experience of shared water bodies , including marine ecosystems, great lakes, rivers and biodiversity, governance systems, transboundary issues, challenges and opportunities. 

 Specific Experience 

  1. At least 7 year working  experience in environmental or climate change related institutions in Africa; 
  2. Demonstrated evidence of performing similar tasks related to this consultancy in the last 5 years; 
  3. Record of experience and knowledge on nature ecosystem-based solutions for mitigating climate change impacts; 
  4. Evidence of formulating protocols or strategies for climate change mitigation environmental governance, biodiversity, conservation; and,  
  5. Familiarization with climate change “hotspots‚ÄĚ and mainstreaming climate change mitigation in national or regional action or investment plans. 

Other Essential Skills and Experience 

  1. Diplomacy and good interactive  skills necessary for dealing with senior officials in Government, RECs, other regional organizations, and donor/development organizations in Africa; 
  2. Experience in facilitating workshops; 
  3. Good networking skills and ability to maintain positive and constructive; 
  4. Very strong writing, analytical and communication skills are necessary; and
  5. Proficiency in at least 2 AU languages. 


  1. Inception report developed outlining methodology; 
  2. Assessment of climate change impacts  on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems   conducted; 
  3. Climate change ‚Äėhotspots, identified;  
  4. Climate change mitigation strategies developed in marine and freshwater ecosystems and corresponding implementation plans developed; 
  5. Ongoing initiatives on climate change mitigation, habitat and ecosystems restorations identified and areas of support for strengthening climate change mitigation identified especially with reference to implementation of nature ecosystem-based solutions; and, 
  6. Comprehensive report of the consultancy developed and approved. 

Criteria for Scores:  

CriteriaScores (%)
General Experience20
Specific Experience45
Other skills10
Proficiency in AU languages (at least  in 2)5

 Gender Mainstreaming: 

The AU Commission is an equal opportunity employer and qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply.   

Duty stations:  

The consultants will be stationed in Nairobi with travel on specific assignments agreed with the AU-IBAR Management.   


The duration of this assignment is 45 calendar days but can be accomplished within 60 days from the date of signature of the contract. 


The professional fee for this consultancy is USD 13500 Costs related to an approved travel for this assignment will be the responsibility of AU-IBAR.
Expenses for missions will be covered separately in accordance with the applicable African Union Commission rules and regulations.

Supervision and reporting  

The candidate will be under the direct supervision of the project team leader with oversight supervision by the Director of AU-IBAR. The team leader will have the responsibility of approval of reports 

Evaluation Criteria:  

The applications will be evaluated on the basis of the relevant technical qualifications, experience and competence of the candidates.  
 Submission of Applications

The deadline for submission of proposals is 02nd March 2022, 15.00 hours, Nairobi Local Time. 
The address for submission of applications is: Applications including detailed curriculum vitae (CV) should be submitted through email to: [email protected]

Documents forming part of this application:

  • Terms of reference
  • Declaration on exclusion criteria
  • Data protection and privacy statement 

Documents to be submitted with the application

  • Technical proposal including references of previous relevant work experience
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Identification documents e.g. passport with relevant biodata pages
  • Tax status/registration documents
  • Signed declaration on exclusion criteria
Terms of references (English version) (140.11 KB)140.11 KB
AU-IBAR declaration form (32.5 KB)32.5 KB
AU-IBAR Personal Data Protection and Privacy Statement (149.08 KB)149.08 KB

Closing Date: Wednesday, 2 March, 2022





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development